GPs and MPs have welcomed a life-saving wonder drug being used to treat COVID.
The steroid Dexamethasone is frequently prescribed to at home COVID patients to prevent them from needing hospital treatment, and MPs have called on the health service to look into more at-home use of the drug to further cut cases of severe illness from COVID.
The steroid, which decreases the amount of damage in the lungs, has been mostly used in hospitals, reducing patient’s need for ventilators, and a study by NHS England earlier this year concluded that the steroid has saved at least 22,000 lives in the United Kingdom and a million globally.
It’s been hailed as proof that combined with vaccines, improved treatment means it no longer poses the same threat, and one GP prescribing it for at-home use said that it saves lives. It works and it makes sense to give it to more people to prevent them from being severely sick.
Conservative MP Neil O’Brien said that the use of Dexamethasone to treat COVID was a huge success, and one of the real bright spots of the past year, and he added the treatment breakthrough was one of the greatest British contributions to the work on the pandemic, and it was wonderful to find something that was affordable and worked.
The discovery of the treatment came after an Oxford University study of over 2,000 NHS COVID patients who were given a course of the drug over ten days.
For patients who were ill enough to need oxygen, the risk of dying dropped by a fifth, and for the most seriously sick patients on mechanical ventilators, the risk of dying decreased by over a third.
James Cartlidge, the Tory MP for South Suffolk, also praised the incredible development and said the Government should continue to give it every support.
He said that in the long run it was the most important thing and that was an underrated part of the clinical breakthrough that’s been made.
The Department of Health’s Therapeutic Taskforce spearheaded the work into the treatment, and in April this year, a new Antivirals Taskforce was created to focus on making new oral antiviral drugs available to COVID patients.
The use of Dexamethasone for patients who need oxygen is now standard care in NHS hospitals, and NHS England said Dexamethasone wasn’t routinely prescribed for COVID patients at home, in line with current guidance.
However, it needs to be fast-tracked for wider use if it’s that effective. It’s affordable and it improves the 28-day mortality if a person’s reached the point where they require oxygen, but it also has some interesting side effects and is probably best reserved for a hospital setting.
So, this treatment will keep hospital admissions down and it will be made to look like the vaccines are working, and sadly the NHS has not been treating patients properly or way too late, frequently telling people to go home to deal with it themselves.
Some people were prescribed nothing and given no advice, even those that had recently had some kind of surgery not relating to COVID, and then when they did have to go to the hospital, some were given DNRs and were finished off with morphine.
It’s just pitiful to see these things going on, and it’s occurring every day, everywhere and it needs to change, and doctors need to advise people, but it seems to be very much down to the person’s own research.